50th Remembrance of the Death of Mathias Zdarsky
Mathias Zdarsky (1856-1940) is considered the pioneer of alpine skiing. As the tenth child of a miller, Zdarsky was born in Koschichowitz near Trebitsch in southern Moravia. He became a teacher and then a painter and sculptor. In search of a place where he could pursue his artistic and scientific endeavors in peace, Zdarsky settled in the mountain farm Habernraith in Lilienfeld. Because of the snow-filled winters and the book Nansens (1891), he arranged for ski boots to be sent from Norway. Zdarsky improved the design of special ski boots for flat surfaces and invented the steel sole binding. This binding enabled better contact with the ski surface, thereby enhancing control in snow. In the years that followed, Zdarsky earned numerous national and international awards for his improvements on the alpine and slalom techniques.
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